Tom Dixon's new restaurant has his signature stamp all over it.
Overlooking Granary Square, the all-day dining restaurant is the latest piece of the Dixon’s Coal Office jigsaw to be revealed.
The designer announced last year he was relocating his studio HQ to the 1,625 sq m central London site, which takes over the offices of a Victorian-era former coal yard near the railway station.
Now Tom Dixon has collaborated with Israeli restaurateur Assaf Granit on a restaurant at the complex’s heart.
The 1851 brick warehouse now comprises Dixon’s flagship store, workshop and office, plus a restaurant with space for 160 diners, a chef’s table, bar and canalside roof terrace.
This Victorian building, which follows the curve of the canal, creates both a challenging and unusual dining layout for a restaurant.
Spread across three floors, the restaurant includes two outdoor terraces (one on the ground floor and one on the first floor), a bar, a bakery, two distinctively different dining areas and an open kitchen with dining counter where Granit’s menu of Mediterranean-style sharing plates is served.
Upstairs, the outdoor terrace offers sweeping views of the developing Kings Cross neighbourhood from Wilkinson Eyre’s Gasholders to Heatherwick Studio’s Coal Drops Yard.
Many of the building’s original features were retained following Dixon’s acquisition – including the industrial Victorian brickwork and windows.
In the restaurant, Dixon paired the building’s original brickwork and windows with granite countertops and his industrial-style designs pieces.
‘Fat’ bar stools flank the bar while his signature lighting pendants illuminate the interior. Dixon’s popular ‘Melt’ pendant lamps instantly greet guests in the first dining area, while his Top, Mirror Ball and Curve Ball lights also make appearances.
Marble tabletops in a variety of shades present Dixon-designed tableware, including rough hewn silver cutlery that is being tested on diners’ pre-production; the restaurant offers the perfect opportunity to test out new prototypes.
“Our goal is to constantly evolve and adapt the restaurant as new ideas materialise, with the intention to test more radical ideas in lighting, interior design, and tableware in tight collaboration with the chefs,” Dixon explains.
Food meanwhile has a mostly Israeli twist – including sea bass pritim with Israeli couscous, pumpkin butter, cured cucumber and thugurt – inspired by Granit’s Israeli roots, as well as North African and Middle Eastern influences.
“Coal Office’s concept is distinct; born from a direct connection to the kitchen. A complete collaboration between design and cooking; this is an active and engaged experience beyond just eating”, Dixon comments on the Coal Office concept.
“Chef Assaf Granit’s idea was to deconstruct the kitchen, with cooking and prepping across three floors, with everybody involved in the cooking process – from waiters to guests themselves. The result? A dining playground which is half kitchen, half dining.”
Given Dixon treats his studio as an ever-evolving space for events and experimentation, we’re pretty sure this won’t be his last project in the area.
Coal Office Restaurant is open all day everyday, from breakfast through to dinner.
Coal Office Restaurant, 2 Bagley Walk, London N1C 4PQ. www.coaloffice.com